A Letter to Someone Who Couldn't Love You Back
You are the reason why I could write about love. You are the ripped pages, the pages no one ever knew about, the pages lost somewhere at the back of my mind, or crumpled, thrown somewhere in the corner of my heart. I just couldn't lay my finger on why or how or since when did you just decide to feel like a million miles away from me... But more than that, what I couldnt understand was how I couldn't seem to stop myself from loving someone who disappeared on me, someone who didn't want to talk about things, who seemingly ignored all the messages I sent, or took so long to reply, who replied too little and often, won't reply at all. I couldn't understand how I could continue to love someone who was deliberately pushing me away, someone who can make me hurt so badly, someone who decided to exit my life, and still... Love that someone even then... And most especially then.
I just woke up one day and realized that you were nowhere near, that I couldn't be closer to you even if I pulled you in my arms. I can't explain to you how it feels to look into your eyes, and see my reflection, but never finding me there. I wanted to talk to you. I tried. But you were somewhere my words couldn't reach; you were gone. I have always wondered whether you just woke up one day like that too, and realized that you didn't love me anymore. I wondered what you were thinking, how you were feeling and if I had a fighting chance at all to change your mind.
It would hurt every day to see you and feel nothing from you, yet I would always look for you first in the crowd, in the sea of people, in every gathering, wondering if you would come. It would torture me every time I remembered us, all those moments we had together and how you could just throw them away, but i never stopped thinking about you or looking out for you. I never stopped remembering you in the places we've been, in the songs we sang and listened to, in the meals we used to share together, in every scenic view that I know you couldn't resist to capture, in the movies we used to watch and in every little touching thing that I think you would cry to. I never stopped wanting to tell you first, of the things that made me excited, happy, and the things that made me sad, or when I found something funny, or when I thought of a crazy idea. You were the person I wanted to tell everything about, even if I knew that you wouldn't be as equally excited about it as I am, even if you thought otherwise, and even if you rained on my parade or burst my bubble... But i seemed to have lost all that, when I couldn't even bring myself to tell you about all the things I felt for you that I wanted you to know, and about all the things that I thought I didn't.
I had so many reasons to hate you, forget you and just get over it. After all, I was good at that --moving on. Yet, i could never bring myself to hate you; I found myself defending you or snapping when I hear them say negative things about you. I couldn't bring my mind to forget what it keeps remembering on its own. I got over the fact that you were starting to love somebody else. I got over the thought that I could never bring you back to feeling the same way before, that maybe I could never have a shot at those moments with you again. But what I couldn't get over with, was the fact that I loved you still.
I remembered what you said when I hugged you before, and you took my hand and brought it close to your chest and wondered how my past love could let me go, and I wondered the same thing... How could YOU let me go? I moved on with my life anyway, but I couldn't stop myself from looking out for you. Whenever I found happiness, I wondered if you were happy too wherever you were, because I wished the same happiness for you. Then I would look in on your timeline and see recent photos of your smiles and I would be at ease. But more than that, I wanted to tell you that it was okay, that I was okay... That you don't need to stay away, that you could tell me you didn't love me anymore and I wouldn't hold it against you. I wanted to tell you that you didn't need to distance yourself, that you could tell me anything and I would take it, that I would rather have you rage on me, shout at me, snap at me, get emotional or hurt me with the truth; but that what I couldn't take was having you go cold on me again.
I realized that I have never really known love before I loved you, that goes with faith as well. I finally learned why love is more than my feelings, why love isn't about me and how I think love should or shouldn't be. And because of that, I feel like I finally know how it really means to love God above all-- because here on earth, I know now for sure that I will always love you.
I used to ask God why He couldn't just make it easier for the both of us. I only wanted to have closure, to talk to you and finally end things on a nice note.. But we never had that. Maybe some stories just trail off, not seeming to have an ending. That if we tried finding the author of our lives, even if we found Him, or even if we forced an ending out of Him, that maybe some stories were meant to be incomplete, that some loose ends cannot be tied no matter what. Maybe that is why I never got the closure I wanted from you, because maybe I wasn't meant to see the ending so I could focus on and always remember the good things, which were: how we started out and everything in between.
But there is just a definite pain in not knowing, in being caught between waiting or letting go, in thinking whether this was just one of your tests of love or you really wanted out. One sided love really has its way of fucking up with one's mind, that in order to keep myself sane, i thought that the reason for a lack of closure is that maybe the ending was too sad and hurtful that instead of hating I chose to be grateful to be spared from it all. I never knew that was what it took for me to learn the things about love that I wouldn't have understood any other way.
I never regret the things I did for you, the only things I regret were those that I didn't do because I thought we had more time. I held back on those stories from my childhood because i was saving it for our moments of long sleepless nights. I held back on trying to cook up something for you like I always said I would, because I was saving it for a special date. I held back on taking you to spontaneous trips or adventures because I thought I didn't have the right to take you anywhere then without your consent. I held back on my love because I didn't want to be the one who loved more. But I did, I loved you so much no matter how I tried holding back. Only then did I realize that when we love someone, and if we truly love someone, we love them just because. I held back because I feared you might drown in it, but I should have. I should have become the sea that tore down your barriers and flooded your walls, trusting that you would keep afloat, that you could take it. Just like you held back on those words you should've told me, on why you left, because maybe you thought I couldn't take it, and so you just kept silent and distant and cold.
But maybe they were meant to happen, to make sure that I knew what I was talking about when I talked about love, and to make sure that it was okay for you to trust them. That they were true, that those weren't empty words like we thought they were in the beginning, when you said we only said them because of how we felt at that time. That i was right when I disagreed about you saying that we would probably be strangers after some time.
You know what, the weird thing is that on random moments, memories of you and i just keep popping up, the conversations we had, the messages we used to send, the things we talked about, the promises we made, the dreams we asked each other about and the places we said we wanted to see. I thought I have forgotten about them, i have already deleted them, and yet, at times, in the silence of the night, I could still see us clearly behind the windshield of a white suv parked at the corner of the street. Sometimes i would dream of being in a small room, on a small bed, embracing someone who just ripped off a chunk of the wall. There were times when I could still see you unexpectedly coming down from the stairs of a house we used to hang out in, and surprise me with your presence. Often I would look at my shoe and remember that the last photo I took of us before I left, was of it and your airmax right beside it. The last photo that held my memories of a girl who used to tell me stories from the books she read; the girl who sang songs with different genres but always with the same sweetness and softness of a love song; the girl whom I read poems with, whom i used to write love letters to and silly notes with just because. The girl who cries at the movies, who lets me wrap her in my arms when her cup full of sunshine spilled somewhere. The girl who always knew just what to say whenever my feelings got in the way, who embraced me and I would perfectly fit between her neck and shoulders. The girl who made me like the sour lollipops and made them taste sweet. The girl who highlights her novels as if she were studying them, who would throw witty remarks out of nowhere which always earned her bragging rights. The girl who used to tell me everything that's been going on, who wishes I were there with her to experience, to see what she sees, to marvel at the same sunset, the same sunrise when she miraculously gets herself to wake up, to taste meals she thinks would make my mouth water, who would tell me she misses me but whom I would always feel an insanely close connection to whether she were just blocks away, tollways away or even a plane away from me. The girl whom I can never figure out what she was thinking when she gets quiet, lost deep down in her thoughts somewhere. The girl who cooked me pancakes, ref cakes, pasta and invented stuff as long as I washed the dishes afterwards. The girl I used to do groceries with or drive throughs and take outs. The girl who seemed to always get sick, and the first person I ever took care of. The girl who always asked me to stay and not go to work, who teased me in a way I found very difficult to resist. The girl who reminded me of God in times when I felt swallowed by the dark, who held my hand when starbucks had a blackout one rainy night, and whose hand I could still hold even when she was driving. The girl whom I loved very much... and when I start to rewind from there, I could swear, that in those moments, she loved me too.
I wish I could tell you that I am genuinely happy for you everytime I see you with him, or everytime I know you are together, but no matter how much I try, I can't. I don't know, maybe because when you've realized you've loved someone more than yourself for the first time, you never really stop loving them. That I can't be happy about the thought that he gets to sit right next to you, he gets to be the first person you ask when you want to go somewhere or do something, he gets to eat your last bite, he gets to hear the latest music you've found interesting, the latest poems or novels you're into, and he gets to listen to them while holding your hand or playing with your hair or planting little kisses every now and then. I don't think I can ever be genuinely happy about that... But I genuinely want you to be happy... And this is why I can stand to be in the background watching you be happy with someone else. This is why I can let go of my feelings and push them aside, so that only yours matter. This is how I can still give you a smile, offer you a hug and act like nothing happened... And this is how I know that I love you, that I really love you.
So why am I telling you all of this now? I don't know, I can't really explain. Maybe because facebook keeps on bringing back photos I took years ago. Maybe because i want to unload our memories on paper so that they don't come to life by themselves in the silence of the night. Maybe because I don't want to regret not ever letting you know that you affect me in ways you cannot fathom. Maybe because I'm hoping that the truth would set me free, free from being trapped in the past where you were once mine and I was yours. Maybe so that I could choose you less and less everyday until I can finally say that I am genuinely happy for you.
Or maybe... Maybe I just wanted you to know what I should have told you years ago; That I might not have fallen inlove with you the first time we met, nor the second, nor the third, I couldn't pinpoint exactly when, where or how... But all I knew was that I was falling for you, not sudden, not fast, but slowly and surely falling in love with you. That I loved you first with the love I knew, next with all that I am, and then unknowingly with the love that I was yet to know. I wanted you to know that the love I had for you the first time I realized I loved you, grew even more despite how you became so distant and cold and that before I let go of you, I should have let you known, that I loved you still.. That I remembered the way you laughed, the way you smiled and rolled your eyes, the way you bit your lip and be amused at how it's affecting me, and that because of that, I realized I love you so much that I wanted to continue to see you happy, even if it means not seeing that smile up close, or hearing that laugh... Even if it means it's not me anymore who causes you to be amused, or the reason why you bite your lip, or be the one to watch you capture something beautiful... That I wanted you to be as alive as you were, to love who you must, to let you go, to love you in the distance just so I would never have to see you look distant or feel you cold ever again. I want to lay all of my feelings here and now so I can finally put all of this behind me.
And finally, I want to thank you. Thank you because loving you has shown me that there is beauty even in painful waiting or letting go. That what makes these things beautiful is love. That I could be in many different places, seeing different new things, meeting new people and writing about them--things I wanted to do, things that make me who I am, things I thought would bring me content... But without love, these things won't mean anything at all. I know that now, because I kept looking for you in those beautiful places, and even in the sad ones. Now I understand how sometimes life gives us exactly what we want, to show us that they aren't the things that we really need. That I felt empty in the vacations I took because I would always wish to find you there beside me, that I could smile and be in the moment, yet at the back of my mind I cannot deny that there was something wrong. Thank you because now i know that love gives meaning to everything, and that without it we would want and want many things and do them and accomplish them and yet, find that all the good things in the world can never be enough... That i could have everything and they won't amount to anything at all. Thank you for leaving, because I learned a great deal about faith. That because of my hurt, I learned to give up on weaving love stories in my head, of creating ideas of love that I wanted to fit me, of trying to change things or people. I learned to trust in God, to have faith that everything happens for a reason, I let Him change me. I learned that only faith can transform even the trying times into a newness that we could never fathom. I learned to love, to let go, to love again and to love better. I learned why sometimes life forces us to let go of the people we love, so that we would know what true love is... That among other things, true love never leaves, that true love waits even after we've gone to find ourselves, that love requires sacrifice and that the best love story isn't ours to write, but God's. That all we need to do is to do our best, to live our story, to love like we're going to lose it at any moment and always always to trust in Him.
Thank you, because if it weren't for you, I never would have wanted to be the one who loves more.
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